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Re: [pct-l] The Ray Way as it is.

Hey WC - I think we can use you as our PR man for future senseless battles 
of the sort. Clearly you've read the books and read them well (read: with 
open mind). I'd love to clarify a few points on the list, regarding the 
below, but I sense that I would be doing one of two things - 1) speaking to 
those who really ought read the book first, or read it more determinedly and 
with an open mind,(or read a current version rather than one written 10 
years ago) or 2) preaching to the converted.

Trying to carry on a calm and rational discussion about any of the 
Handbook's ideas on this list is like trying to make Hitler smile. Choose 
thy battle wisely, and thy country too. :)

- Blisterfree, Handbook editor

>From: "The Weathercarrot" <weathercarrot@hotmail.com>
>To: manjovin@jps.net, pct-l@backcountry.net
>Subject: Re: [pct-l] The Ray Way as it is.
>Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 22:27:20 EST
>Hi - Just some thoughts - feel free to ignore...
>It looks like we've hit the core of the "Ray Way" conflict.
>>Let's let Ray speak for himself from the pages of his handbook:
>Good idea...
>>>"Obviating a piece of equipment reduces it's weight by a full 100%"
>There is more than one way to interpret that statement. I think he's 
>about a redefining of what an individual considers a "need." Once you do
>that, those items that once fell under the definition but now don't, are
>reduced in their weight by 100%. It's up to each person to decide for
>themselves what is worth redefining and I think he recognizes that.
>>>"...the thru-hiker in running shoes covers the trail in seven weeks less
>His point is that there is a cumulative benefit of having less weight
>attached to your feet every time you lift them up to walk, especially over
>2,600+ miles. The "seven week" claim is pretty silly because such a benefit
>would be so individual that to measure a distinct trend is next to
>>>"Candy is quite useless when it comes to supplying energy."
>Depends on what kind of energy you're looking to have.
>>>"Because thirst is mainly psychological, we distance hikers must never
>>>rely on it to tell us when we need to drink water."
>>(rely on what? Remember this sentence while crossing the Mojave.)
>I think he's saying here that there is a psychological (and therefore
>changeable) component to every physical form of "craving" or "desire" we
>have. His use of the word "mainly" is what affects the interpretation of 
>statement. This issue is analogous to the desire we have on hot days to
>drink cold water instead of warm, even though the latter is more healthy.
>Our minds can easily be conditioned to where our awareness is only 
>in tune with our true physical needs. That's all he's saying.
>>>"If wind-driven rain prompts you to wear your parka while hiking, you 
>>>hike with greater efficiency by wearing it backward." <<
>Just one of many things that he puts out there to provoke people to think,
>whether they agree or not in the end. Trying that technique for one rainy
>stretch probably hasn't created much harm.
>>>"If I need it [gear] and don't have it, then I don't need it."
>>(really? remember this when you lose one of your shoes, or a tent pole.)
>Here once again we're talking about the core idea that "need" is relative.
>Yes, ANY need. To me the term is defined by what the objective is. And any
>objective is malleable. If you lose one of your shoes, then, no matter how
>you feel about it, you resort to other means (barefoot if necessary). If 
>lose your tent pole, you find some sort of alternative. Your objective
>changes. With both scenarios you are reassessing your idea of comfort. Like
>before, this is simply a basic concept that is left up to each person to
>decide how it can apply to them and how they view backpacking.
>>>"God loves the mountains, trees, and even our stealth campsites."
>>(really? But the NPS doesn't.)
>The breaking of a rule or law does not automatically mean that one has done
>something wrong, or has violated some universal absolute. Federal, state,
>and local law making bodies don't have any more grasp of moral concepts 
>anyone else does (yes - I know exactly how that statement will be responded
>to). The point being that if you don't personally feel guilty about stealth
>camping, then just do it and don't get caught.
>>>"The people who survive will be the small, nomadic tribes, ekeing out
>>>their existence upon a stormy, dusty earth." <<
>>(uh, oh.)
>Don't worry - it's not a sentence to panic about. He's referring, yet 
>to this idea of relative definitions. In this case, it is this: the less we
>are dependent on what we have invented/created around us (technology,
>convenience, etc), the more likely that we can survive if it is suddenly 
>there. That's it. Very simple and non-threatening.
>>--Yes, folks, it's all in there. The "Ray Way" is a package; you need to
>>accept the whole thing in order to make it work. <
>Not true at all. The "Ray Way" is to introduce a different perspective into
>your own reality. Take whatever you can incorporate and leave what you
>>If you don't believe thirst is mental, then you can't carry a little day
>>pack (because you need to carry more than a liter of water), and that 
>>you can't wear slippers (because a real pack
>weighs more), which means you're unlikely to hike 40 mile days all the way
>to Canada. <
>All of those points are based on assumptions. Yes, we have to make some 
>of assumptions just to function in this world, but they also, often
>severely, restrict our mindset. We create our own reality, and to a large
>extent our own limitations. Outside of cultural paradigms, and our
>individual selves, there's nothing that says one can't carry more than a
>quart of water in a small pack, that you can't use lightweight footwear 
>more water weight, and that you therefore can't do 40 miles a day. There's
>also nothing that says you have to do 40 miles a day. Make assumptions, but
>be very aware of why you make them.
>Just some thoughts - feel free to ignore...
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